An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

  • Published
  • By Richard J. Smith
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Information Assurance Office
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month across the United States. The 375th Communications Group, Wing Information Assurance Office and Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association have teamed up to provide education and activities for everyone.

To kick off the month, the 375th CG brought back the popular Michael Maybin Jr. Relay Run Oct. 2. Prizes and t-shirts were awarded. More activities are planned throughout the month to highlight cyber security.

Cyber crime in all its many forms--online identity theft, financial fraud, stalking, bullying, hacking, e-mail spoofing, information piracy and forgery, intellectual property crime--can, at best, wreak havoc in victims' lives through major inconvenience and annoyance. At worst, cybercrime can lead to financial ruin and potentially threaten a victim's reputation and personal safety.

Cybercrime can be particularly difficult to investigate and prosecute because it often crosses legal jurisdictions.

Here are a few tips to remember when someone becomes a victim:

1. Start with local law enforcement. Your local law enforcement agency has an obligation to assist you, take a formal report, and make referrals to other agencies. Many departments have established specialized cyber units.

2. Collect and keep evidence. This could be anything from cell phone texts, to posts on Facebook, cancelled checks, emails, phone bills, credit card receipts or pictures.

3. In cases of identity theft, it's important to contact one of the three credit bureaus to report the crime, Equifax at 1-800- 525-6285, Experian at 1-888-397-3742, or TransUnion at 1-800-680-7289. Request that the credit bureau place a fraud alert on your credit report to prevent any further fraudulent activity from occurring. As soon as one of the bureaus issues a fraud alert, the other two bureaus are automatically notified.

Every time we log into our email, use our cell phone, or visit a social networking site, we're entering a digital battlefield. The battle is for information. It's our shared responsibility to educate and protect ourselves against these threats.

Together we will be a safer digital society, more resistant from attacks and more resilient if one occurs.